A new study on black-legged ticks in New York State has linked these arachnids with another, rare, but serious disease: encephalitis. Please make sure that, if you spend any time in the woods or tall grasses this summer, you always check yourself for ticks once you come inside. And check your pets as well! Animals tend to brush up against plants even more than we do, and can be infected by, or carriers of diseased ticks.
If you find a tick on yourself or someone/thing else, it is best to be very careful in removing it from the skin:
Also, if possible, you should save the tick in a ziploc bag, in the freezer. If you or your pet end up feeling ill in the next few weeks, then the doctor could use the tick to help in diagnosis, if the symptoms alone are not enough.